Be Aware, Be Informed: Tax Scams and How to Avoid Them

In recent years, tax scams have been steadily increasing and have now reached epidemic proportions.

Fraudsters pretending to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are deceiving the unsuspecting public to commit tax frauds and phishing attacks.

Given the significant growth of these fraudulent activities, we at Nordens, are extremely thrilled to have been invited to the esteemed platform of LBC radio.

Our CEO, Mitch Hahn, joined hands with consumer rights advocate Dean Dunham on the LBC Consumer Hour, to help educate listeners on tax scams and guide them on distinguishing between a genuine HMRC contact and a fake one.

How do tax scams work?

Criminals claiming to represent HMRC use intimidating phone calls, texts, or emails to trap individuals into sharing personal information such as bank details, and conning them into transferring money or sharing valuable information. These tactics often involve convincing the victim of a tax rebate, an outstanding payment or grant, and then request an urgent money transfer. They exploit the general fear of legal complications related to taxes and, with the authoritative disguise of HMRC, coerce the innocent public into falling into their scams.

Spotting a Tax Scam:

Scammers usually employ an urgent or threatening tone, forcing you to act promptly without much thought. If you receive an unexpected contact, requesting for personal information, bank details or pressuring to transfer money, be suspicious. Be alert if you are offered a refund, tax rebate or grant, these are usually baits for the trap.

Text Messages and Emails:

Though HMRC does send text messages to customers, they never request personal or financial information via text messages. Scammers might provide links to fake webchat or provide offers for tax refund to collect personal details. The HMRC suggests forwarding suspicious text messages or emails to and then delete them.

WhatsApp messages, QR Codes, and Gift Vouchers:

HMRC categorically denies any official communication through WhatsApp, thus, any communication received via WhatsApp is undoubtedly a scam. Moreover, while HMRC does use QR codes, they would never lead you to a page requesting personal information. Payment requests in the form of gift or payment vouchers is a significant red flag.

If you suspect a scam or have fallen prey:

Report it to HMRC, Action Fraud or to Police Scotland if you reside in Scotland. Should you have accidentally shared personal information, report it immediately to the HMRC security team.

Our goal is to make you informed, aware and secure. Knowledge and a healthy dose of scepticism is our best defence against these fraudulent schemes. If we stand together, we can reduce the instances of tax fraud and make our society a safer place. After all, our safety is in our hands.

If you aren’t sure whether something you have received from HMRC is genuine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.